MIAMI (CBS4) – One day after the Miami Dolphins suffered from a controversial loss, head coach Tony Sparano met with the media to talk about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s fumble at the end zone.
The Dolphins had no one to blame but themselves for the loss. Two early turnovers deep in Steelers territory couldn’t be converted into touchdowns and the momentum the crowd was giving the Dolphins effectively ended.
But the Roethlisberger play left his team angry and confused about exactly what happened.
“The explanation that I received was that the fumble occurred on the half-yard line or thereabouts is what they called it, okay, the ½ yard line,” Sparano said. “And the ball cannot be advanced but as far as the coverage of any of that, even though our player came up with the ball and handed the ball to the official—the way I’m understanding it…they did not visually see our player recover the football. So because they didn’t physically see our player recover the football they call it…they called it a scrum and you know the way the rule reads if there’s a scrum down there.”
Sparano said the team will continue to evaluate cornerback Sean Smith and determine later if he will finally replace Jason Allen in the starting lineup. But the common theme for Sparano was frustration with his team not finishing the game.
“I think the thing I’m most frustrated about is just that we got close against a good football team in that situation and didn’t finish and I thought the guys played really hard,” Sparano said. “I mean I want you to understand now these guys played really hard. And you know if that’s the best team in the AFC or whatever it is or you know the Jets are the best team in the AFC I don’t know you know whatever they’re saying out there, but, those guys played (a) pretty hard game yesterday.”
But, the offense’s complete lack of production in the red zone continues to haunt the Dolphins, who simply don’t have a team identity to run with. The team is sometimes a throw-first team and other times just going through the motions.
“I think probably we just got to, we just have to look at where these things are breaking down because the play, the design of the play is good,” Sparano said. “We got to look at where they’re breaking down and maybe address those issues more than the design I think.”